Baptism of Fire

Baptism of Fire (HM1NUG)

Location: Perryville, KY 40468 Boyle County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 39.945', W 84° 58.212'

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— The Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 —

The 500 soldiers of the 42nd Indiana were suffering from an intense thirst. Their canteens dry from a recent drought, the commanders allowed these troops to find pools of water in Doctor's Creek, located just in front of you.

The men stacked their rifles and filled their canteens with muddy water. Many of them moved down the creek to your left where they searched for water near some rock bluffs that rise 20-40 feet above the creek.

Suddenly, the Confederates attacked and the 42nd Indiana was caught by surprise. The high bluffs trapped many inside the creek bed, ending any hope of escape. Casualties mounted as survivors dashed out of the banks and up the hill behind you.

Regrouping, these troops joined the main Union battle line. Like many Northern soldiers who fought here, Perryville was their first fight. At Perryville the 42nd Indiana suffered 20 killed, 133 wounded, and 21 missing. It was a brutal baptism of fire.

"The first intimation we had of the immediate presence of the rebels was a shot from their cannon, which passed directly over the heads of the field and staff officers, cutting limbs and branches away...The next one was aimed lower, which knocked away a stack of guns."
Union soldier S.F. Horrall
Co. G 42nd Indiana

(upper right) When the 42 Indiana was forced out of the creek bed, Union Captain Charles Olmstead of Company A rallied his men on the hill behind you. "This is as good a place to die as any other," Olmstead shouted. Moments later he was shot in the forehead and killed.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 11th, 2015 at 9:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 679026 N 4170668
Decimal Degrees37.66575000, -84.97020000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 39.945', W 84° 58.212'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 39' 56.7" N, 84° 58' 12.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)859
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1495-1625 Hays Mays Rd, Perryville KY 40468, US
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